HomeNewsA year of significant operational and strategic progress

23 January 2018

A year of significant operational and strategic progress

Benchmark’s Annual Report and Accounts for the financial year ended 30 September 2017 is now available.

Download the report here

2017 has been a year of significant operational and strategic progress for Benchmark Holdings. Despite certain challenges, we have continued our focussed investment in the development of the Group’s pipeline and have put in place important technological, infrastructure and organisational building blocks. Benchmark is now one of the leading global providers of advanced nutrition, genetics and animal health in the industry.

Malcolm Pye

Benchmark CEO

Financial summary:

£m 2017 2016


Like for like1







Adjusted EBITDA2


Like for like1







Adjusted PBT3 6.3 5.2
Loss for the year (7.1) (18.3)
Basic loss per share (pence) (1.4) (4.4)
Net debt4 (23.9) 0.4

Financial highlights

  • Revenue increased by 28% (13% like for like1)
  • £21.5m investment in state-of-the-art production capacity in genetics and animal health
  • £15.2m investment in R&D
  • Adjusted EBITDA2 increased by 9%
  • Loss for the year reduced by 61%
  • 2017 leverage5  1.8x (excluding £6.0m debt related to new salmon breeding joint venture)

Operational Highlights

  • Strengthened Board and team – Structure realigned to deliver synergies and drive accountability
  • Pipeline progress – 5 new products launched. Field trials of new sea lice treatment commenced post period end
  • Increased capacity – new genetics facility in Norway progressing well. First commercial scale production at Braintree’s vaccine manufacturing facility
  • New 10 year agreement with Great Salt Lake Cooperative securing access to high quality artemia

Current trading

  • Fundamental drivers remain favourable and outlook for our core species is positive with salmon production growing and shrimp production recovering
  • Current trading in line with the Board’s expectations and we expect to deliver on strategic and financial objectives for the year

Divisional Summary

Advanced Nutrition

  • Advanced Nutrition like for like1  revenues grew by 21% over the prior year driven by:
  • Continued signs of recovery in key shrimp markets
  • Increased market share driven by demand for higher margin live feed replacement and health diets
  • Significant initiatives undertaken during the year:
    • New 10 year sales and marketing agreement to secure continued access to high quality live feed (artemia)
    • Launch of new products Sanolife GUT and Sanolife PRO-2
    • Development of 100% artemia replacement feed progressing to plan


  • Increased demand for salmon eggs with sales up in every major market; strong growth in recently launched products
  • Significant initiatives undertaken during the year:
    • Launch of new salmon and shrimp products
    • Integration of Genetics division which now includes salmon, shrimp and tilapia, and has customers in Europe, North and Latin America and Asia
    • New land-based production facility in Norway, through joint venture with Salten Stamfisk AS, received first batch of broodstock – post period end

Animal Health (medicines and vaccines)

  • Sales in Animal Health decreased from £24.8m to £15.1m as a result of drop in sales of Salmosan, as previously reported
    • Salmosan outlook improved in first months of 2018 partly due to a switch to direct distribution in Chile
  • Significant initiatives undertaken during the year:
    • Development of CleanTreat, an innovative water purification system that avoids contamination of marine waters from medicinal treatments of fish
    • First commercial scale production at the new Braintree vaccine antigen manufacturing facility
    • Continued progress in animal health pipeline of 41 products of which 7 are in regulatory phase and 10 are in pre-regulatory development trials
    • Post period end, commencement of field trials for Benchmark’s next generation sea lice treatment for the salmon industry
  1. Like for like includes 12 month comparative figures for businesses acquired in FY16 using 3 months pre-acquisition results from unaudited management information for INVE and unaudited 11 month proforma figures for Genetica Spring SAS
  2. Adjusted EBITDA – Earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation and before exceptional including and acquisition related items
  3. Adjusted Profit Before Tax is profit before tax before amortisation, exceptional items and acquisition related expenditure
  4. Net debt is cash and cash equivalents less loans and borrowings
  5. Leverage is calculated per the facility agreement that governs the Group’s principal revolving credit facility which excludes ringfenced non-recourse debt in respect of the new salmon breeding joint venture in Norway